The greatest challenges of the refining industry is to produce fuels satisfying specifications and environmental regulations required in this new Millennium. As the specifications tighten, the conventional refining technologies becoming redundant or obsolete and the refiners are forced to deal with molecules rather than boiling ranges. The refining in the future will be molecular management rather than distillation. The abundance of global natural gas resources can be used to make cleaner gasoline and diesel fuels. Natural gas derived fuels, such as dimethyl ether (DME), are also potential future fuels. These fuels will have no or very low sulphur, nitrogen, aromatics, and particulate levels. Unlike some alternative fuels, the burden of the production of these clean fuels is not to prove performance or technology. The technology of conversion of natural gas to liquids (GTL process) is proven and becoming economical. The other aspect is the exceptional quality of the fuel products which can easily meet current and future anticipated specifications of cleaner fuels. This paper presents the recent environmental regulations and the anticipated future specifications of fuels. The paper also discusses the technology of conversion of natural gas to liquid fuels.

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